First Outback Trip

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 12:32
ThreadID: 140929 Views:5837 Replies:12 FollowUps:5
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Hi All,

Looking for advise and answers to an Outback trip I am planning to do in May 2021, Covid 19 allowing !!
I have done a lot of 4WD in the Victorian high country in Landcruiser's and Patrols etc etc, but I have decided to go the lighter route and have a Subaru XV set-up for touring with two full size spares, H/Duty AT Tyres fitted lots of drinking water and spare fuel.
Not towing anything and just two occupants.

The intended Trip:

Tibooburra - Cameron Corner - Innamincka (via old strzelecki tk) - Dig Tree (day trip) - Lyndhurst (finish)
Wanting to do the trip without camping to keep the weight down so will be staying at the accomodation at these locations.

My Questions:

Can Tibooburra to Innamincka be done in a day rather than staying at Cameron Corner as I believe its only about two hours drive to Camerons from Tibboburra ?

Can Innamincka to Lyndhurst be also done in a day rather than camping along the Strzelecki Tk somewhere?

I realise they will be long days but don't mind if they can be done safely during daylight hours.

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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:05

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:05
Hi Chris
Enjoying the outback does mean taking your time. It's good for you and your car. I wouldn't contemplate your proposed long days for a second.
I understand what you are trying to do, with no camping, cooking etc , but it will mean very long tiring days, and it will be tough on the car.
Love to hear how it works out.

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Reply By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:17

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:17
Why not camp out at the Dig Tree.

Great spot and your entry fee cover camping fit as long as you like
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:31

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:31
Your Subaru XV would have no trouble on any of those roads - all are pretty good standard dirt these days (subject to weather conditions of course). Just need to make sure you manage your tyre pressures and have a full sized spare with you - and check your range between fuel stops. Enjoy :-)
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Reply By: GarryR - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:33

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 13:33
Hi Chris J16, as Jim said it is not a trip to drive flat out and not enjoy the serenity of the outback. Take your time and soak it in. Another way not to camp, and take a great amount of gear is the possibility of a Station stay. Judy and I camp for most of our trips, but we have found that many Stations have accomadation to suit many people. We love using the shearers quarters were we supply our own pillow and and a basic bed, and can use this as a base to explore the area for a couple of days. Some Station stays can offer more up market with bedding and meals etc. Doing a Station stay, we get to learn about the area , and what station life is all about. Every station is different, even though they are neighbours. Enjoy your proposed trip, it's a great area to visit.
GarryR and Judy
location - Warragul -Victoria
life is too short, so out and about enjoy

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Reply By: dad1340 - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 16:55

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 16:55
Hi CJ,
There are a lot of unknowns in your question; age, time restraints, etc; that sought of thing.
My view is if you want to be kind to yourself don't plan trips that fail to factor in 'Murphy's Law'
Also long days in the saddle never seems like a holiday to me. Been on never ending corrugations before?

We are in 'La Nin'a with me sitting here in Newcastle with rain and foggy drizzle for days at 18.5 degrees.
In January............ and then there is the obvious Climate issues that can bring surprises.

You say you have experience in the VHC so you would understand the four seasons in one day - predictable unpredictability. The west has some surprises too.

Sounding not to be a killjoy I would at least identify stations along your route, save their number and call channel and check on the weather and any possibility of creeks rising (regardless of blue sky days) . Local knowledge is best. ABC radio is also handy as is a Sat phone.

With your VHC trips you don't need advice re water, fuel and tucker but just remember, with rain you stop even on the car roads you have mentioned unlike the VHC - there goes the long distance plans and accommodation.

See the Oodnadatta Pink Pub's tyre pressure guide.
Try for more time for the trip ............................. (one of the questions unknowns)


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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 17:00

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 17:00
Hi Chris,
Personally I think you are doing yourself a disservice by limiting yourself to accomodation, a large part of the beauty of the region is the remote camping

I would leave one of your spares behind, one with a compressor and a tyre plug kit is plenty for the region and unnecessary weight and bulk you don’t need to be carrying
Consider throwing in a cheap nylon tent, Kmart blow up mattress ,a butane cooker and sneak a couple of camps in along the way. Apart from allowing you to travel at a much more leisurely pace you will get a proper outback experience.

You can thank me later for that tip .
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 18:49

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 18:49
I'd suggest taking a day from Tibooburra to Camerons Corner, (Accomodation at CC) & a day from Camerons Corner to Innamincka via the Old Strzelecki Track (Far nicer drive than the Strzelecki track) which would give you the fun of driving the 'roller coaster' dunes (a gravel road) west of Camerons Corner, with accommodation at Innamincka.

I reckon Innamincka to Lyndhurst via the Strzelecki is pushing it. Driving these sort of roads requires constant alertness and can be pretty tiring as a result.

You also need to plan for the unexpected. Breakdown , puncture, dust storm , rain whatever, & part of that plan needs to include the need to stop overnight on the road somewhere. Take a tent or swag. Take an epirb too. Carry sufficient food for a few days too as well as water. ...... just in case.

I had to look up Subaru XV to see what it was. Looks like they run fairly low profile tyres. If I'm right about that & you are unable to let your tyre pressures down much it will be a pretty unpleasant & harsh trip.
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 19:18

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 19:18
Chris, based on my one trip over the same route albeit about 15 years ago, your vehicle sounds fine and the suggested days drives are the same as our family did in a Pajero and camper trailer whilst around 38 degrees. I was surprised how good the roads were, but again that was just one trip a long time ago.
As we get older and hopefully wiser we all start dishing out recommendations like don't rush it as much, don't try to cram it all in.
I sincerely hope you are allowing at least one full day staying at Innamincka, otherwise it risks becoming a "tick the box/ been there done that exercise".

Most of us are guilty of achieving this travel wisdom after having done exactly what you are proposing in our younger days and some are even more guilty for dishing these recommendations out whilst having (earnt) the luxury of being retired and not having time pressures.

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Reply By: Erad - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 20:39

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 20:39
About 20 years ago, we did a lot of what you re proposing, including Tiboorburra to Innaminca via Camerons Corner. This is an easy day trip. Regarding suitable car, just west from Camerons Corner, we were crossing the sand dunes (clay topping on the road), and we came over teh crest of a dune only to see a 4 yr old Nissan Bluebird (Front wheel Drive with about 100 mm ground clearance) towing a 12 ft back door caravan. Since I had no caravan, I pulled hard over to the scrub to give the oncoming rig as much clearance as possible. I was checking the left mirror as the rig went past. My wife said "That was a woman driving that, and she was on her own". I thought that her husband must have been feeling crook and laid the seat back, and when we got to Innaminca, we checked in at the pub. The publican asked which way we had come and did we see a 74 yr old lady towing a small caravan out there all by herself? Yes - we did and she was going OK. When we got back to Tiboorburra, she was still at the caravan park.

Apparently she had lost her husband a few years before and one day decided that she wanted to see Australia. Her family said she was mad but gave her a mobile phone and told her to check in when there was some signal. She was doing everything except reverse the rig herself. So if a small front wheel drive Nissan towing a small caravan can do these roads, your Subaru will eat it. But be prepared to stop if it starts raining out there. Roads quickly become quagmires and get closed, and there are heavy fines for driving on closed roads.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 08:58

Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 08:58
Easter 1970. That is Coward Springs with the Ghan going past (looks a bit different these days).
There were 3 adults, camping gear for a week, extra fuel and water and 2 spares on board.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 19:41

Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 19:41
There's that bloody Mini again!!! lol


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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 20:35

Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 20:35
Na. Different one :)
The first one was a 1963, 850cc (sliding windows) which we drove from Adelaide to Darwin and back for our honeymoon in 1967.
The one at Coward Springs was a 1968 Mini Deluxe, 998cc. That trip took us from Coward Springs along the southern side of the Margaret River by compass to Billa Kalina, then on to Kingoonya and home. It ran 12"wheels and adjustable height front suspension to get a bit more clearance underneath.
I also fitted dual front wheels thinking that might go better in the sand. Massive failure.
Both saw a lot of bush.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 21:16

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 21:16
Set yourself up for simple camping. It will change your life.
A swag and a stove a couple of boxes of food an a couple of pots and pans is all you need and your vehicle can manage that easily.
We did it in Minis for years and developed a love for this vast land that you can never appreciate from a motel room.

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Follow Up By: Member - John - Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 06:59

Sunday, Jan 03, 2021 at 06:59
I see the Mini has grown over the years, LOL
John and Jan

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Reply By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 23:43

Saturday, Jan 02, 2021 at 23:43
About a month ago we did Tibooburra to Farina via Milparinka and Cameron Corner in a day so yes, you could do your trip. The car is suitable. If it rains then you won't be able to do it. The track changes from easy to very hard and may be closed altogether. AWD cars with sub 30" wheels and no room in the wheel arches end up with compacted mud around the wheels that sets like concrete. I've seen it stop the wheels from turning several times.
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Reply By: Jeff S7 - Monday, Jan 04, 2021 at 13:37

Monday, Jan 04, 2021 at 13:37
Hi Chris,Your car is capable of doing this trip,in Aug I went to Gove ,a couple of guy's from Adelaide took 2 up there ,they bitched about the state of the 600 odd ks of rough rd, that I didn't think was too bad,so maybe they feel the road more. You can easily do all the legs of your trip in less than a day and stay in a Acc, If that's what you want to do, UNLESS it RAINS, recently 1/1/2021 friends took 7hrs from Lyndhurst to Innamincka . HiLux towing a camper,(avg 67km/h) Strez in good con they stopped at Montecollina bore only to find it dry.Have fun Jeff
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